The sun came out yesterday in a full yellow glory we have not seen in these here parts for days on end. The Cranky family set out to the pool to enjoy a day of water slides, diving boards, and relaxing beside clear blue waters.
And then someone had to go poop in the deep end and ruin it for everybody.
"This is the third time this has happened when we've been here," said the lady next to us, as she packed up her three kids while lifeguards chased all bodies out of the entire pool and began to scoop unimaginable matter out with skimmers. "This is the worst pool I've ever been to for this."
We could have stayed; we were told once all the fecal matter was removed (blech) they would circulate the filters for half an hour and add some chemicals and we would be allowed back in. But watching the many locations said poo had gone before people realized what had happened, and watching them even clean it up from the concrete by the diving boards, our appetite for swimming was pretty much done for the day. If I wanted to swim in poo, I would have just gone out for a day on the Ohio.
We heard witnesses saying it was a copious amount and was probably the result of more than one pool accident. I supposed this could have been the work of adults, but seeing all the unsupervised children in that area of the pool all afternoon, children whose shadows had not darkened the door of the bathroom during the two adults swims that had been called while we were there and who simply held their spot in line for the diving boards instead, I have a feeling this was the work of a kid or two who just couldn't be bothered to go to the bathroom.
Which infuriates me.
No kid is going to want to stop swimming and go to the bathroom. When pool accidents became a big problem a couple of years ago in the inside pool at our rec center, an hourly adult swim was put into place to try to encourage bathroom breaks and swim diaper changes. I blogged once before about taking Ainsley to the indoor pool on the first day of summer vacation only to be driven out by corn on the water. That reasonable strategy of getting everyone under the age of 17 out of the water once an hour is not working as well as it should, and it all comes down to one big variable:
At least once during every trip we make to our pool, I think this thought about at least one child:
"Where the hell are your parents?!"
It could be the kid who I see pushing other kids off the edge of the pool and into the water and then giggling about it as he runs away. It could be the many smaller children I see getting in line for the slides over and over again while holding the front of their swimsuit in a way that clearly communicates, "I need to pee." (And who eventually come off the slide no longer holding themselves.) It could be the kids who sneak back into the water during the adult swim while a lifeguard's back is turned. It could be the kids who hang out in the 2 roped lane lines throwing wet hackey sacks while people are trying to swim laps and who ignore the teenage lifeguard's yelling at them over and over to get out of the lanes.
Are we strange that during adult swim we actually have our kid sit with us, and take a break, and go to the bathroom? Or that we position our chairs so that even if we're not in the water with her we can see her go up the slide line or go off the diving board? That I actually watch my six-year-old instead of talking on the cell phone, or falling asleep in a lawn chair, or (what Jason and I strongly suspected was happening yesterday) just dropping my kid off for the day and leaving them completely unsupervised by anybody but underpaid teenage lifeguards?
Maybe we're overprotective. Maybe we watch too much. But on a day that we had to pack it up and leave because kids were pooping in the pool, I wish there were a few more overwatchful parents out there.